Posts Tagged Firestorm Armada

Screw this, I’m out of here!

So, the big buzz amongst my fellow Warmongers on Twitter today revolves around the latest GW news. First off, there are the leaked images of the forthcoming Space Marine, Ork and Necron aircraft for Warhammer 40,000. Most of the talk is about who does and does not like the new Storm Talon gunship for the Space Marines. I personally think it has some strengths, in this is clearly inspired more by helicopter gunships rather than fixed wing aircraft the way the Storm Raven is and it does look interestingly futuristic. That said, the weapons do look cumbersome and over sized and like they were bolted on as an after thought. I will wait until I can see a better image than a scan of a magazine page before I make final judgement.

The bigger news – in the eyes of many – is the news that price rises are imminent from GW. Details are sketchy at the moment, though some rumours suggest that some kits (like the aforementioned Storm Raven) could go up by as much as 25% – though the average price rise should be much less than that.

I’m not going to launch into a rant about Games Workshop and their pricing policy, for what would be the point? I know I’m not qualified to provide any kind of worthwhile analysis of the financial implications and I have no desire to throw my lot in with whiners and haters and the sort of people who seem to think it’s unreasonable for a business to act as such. But this still unwelcome news.

As mentioned in a relatively recent blog post, I have been becoming more well disposed to Games Workshop in recent months, after having been turned off them by last year’s price rises. I had started to paint up by Brazen Angels Space Marines again, and I even succumbed to temptation and splashed out on some of Forge World’s excellent MK IV Marines to use as a unit of Sternguard Veterans. I was even thinking of starting an additional army, to compliment my Brazen Angels, but that plan might now need a rethink.

This is a hard hobby sometimes, it requires us to balance our hobby against all our other commitments, work family and all our other interests, just to get our toys built and painted and read our rules, let alone to play any games. Paying over the odds is another thing to make the hobby just that bit more difficult.

My fellow Twitter Warmonger @TheBlueHeretic (aka Ryan) expressed it thusly:

I’m thinking this is the year GW prices itself out of my reach. Not Doom & Gloom, or rage quitting, just realization I’m not made of money. A price increase, plus a new edition of 40k (new rules, new models needed to counter new tactics), means unhappy wallet. Not going to decide on it right now, but it is a distinct possibility. Then again, its not like I play much anyways.

I had been drifting back to 40k. I had been won around by so many excellent Black Library books and some cool new model releases. I was even thinking of painting up another Space Marine army using some of the cool new Forgeworld Marines and Terminators and the new Storm Talon gunship. But Ryan’s words crystallized in my head all the reasons why this is not a good idea.

A new edition of 40k is imminent, it will probably be presented in a sumptuous rulebook that will have to be paid for in diamonds and platinum. Every player will then have to go through the traditional period of optimization when they have to tweak their army to gel with the new rules – maybe retiring some models in favour of other unit choices, maybe bringing a little-used troop type out of the depths of the cupboard. Then will come the march of the new codices, new troop types, new models, more changes. It’s a lot of work and potentially a lot of money.

And the thing is, I just don’t think it’s worth it.

Games Workshop are very good at making you want their stuff. Their models are arguably the best in the industry and their background is one of the most compelling – that’s how they were tempting me back. Spartan’s models are fantastic, but there’s something just a bit more visceral about toy soldiers compared to model ships. But the models cost, and so do the books, and more than any company, a GW army is never finished and as time goes on there will always be new models to be sandwiched in and rules changes that mean you have to recompose or enlarge your army. There’s little question that GW are aiming to have gamers playing ever larger battles so they can fit in the growing number of cool super-monsters, mega-tanks, aircraft and other super units. I have never felt the same pressure to buy toys for the other games I collect for that I have for GW games.

So, yeah, I think I’m done. And if this cause me any anguish it’s because GW will always be what got me into this hobby and will always be one of my favourite fictional universes and dabbling with their games if like a familiar comfy coat, or a security blanket to ward of the frighten unknowns of the gaming world. Plus, as the market leader they do dominate the gaming scene and Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars will have to pick up a bit if I want to get a game in the local clubs.  Part of me wants to finish painting up the 2000 points of Brazen Angels I still have cluttering up the study, though that might be a futile endeavour. That said, painting is fun in itself and I like painting Marines. Otherwise, I will start getting my Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars stuff sorted. I have two fleet for each and only a fraction of them is painted.

Maybe, in the future, something will come along to scratch my 28/30mm itch – maybe Privateer Press will finally release their long promised sci-fi game. Maybe my fellow Warmongers will convince me of the virtues of Warmahordes yet. Or maybe I will turn to the ways of the 10mm game and give Dropzone Commander a try (though I’m buying an Odin Attack craft just to paint whatever happens).

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Introducing The Oroshan

Spartan Games have released an exciting new preview of the upcoming Oroshan releases for Firestorm Armada:

Introducing The Oroshan | Spartan Games.

The Oroshan seem to be unique (so far) in that they are not allied with either the Alliance of Kurak or the Zenian League and are eqaully dangerous and hostile to all the other factions in Firestorm Armada.

Of the three designs previewed so far, my favourite is the Defiler class cruiser. I’m less keen on the battleship, probably because it looks rather liek the Cardasian ships from Star Trek. The frigates look interesting, but I’m not entirely sure which end is the front yet.

Defiler Class Cruiser


Still, on top of the new RSN, Aquan and Dindrenzi stuff previewed the other day, it looks like Firestorm players have plenty to look forward to. It’s always nice to see Firestorm getting some shiny new stuff, especially stuff that opens up the game world like this.


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Big Damn Ships

The Shell Case has reviewed the Sorylian and Dindrenzi Dreadnoughts for Firestorm Armada. See what Caito has to say: Big Damn Ships.


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The Tarakian – A Review

The Tarakian – A Review.

@CaitoGalenus has posted a review of the Tarakian ships for Firestorm Armada.

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Miniature Monday 07/11/2011

This week’s finished project for #miniaturemonday is a Tsunami-class heavy cruiser or Firestorm Armada.

I’m quite pleased with how this turned out. I put more of the secondary colours onto this model in comparison to the standard cruisers and I think the effect is much more interesting. For this ship I added a red squadron marking as I envisage these ships being employed more aggressively than the ordinary cruisers. With luck I will finish the rest of the squadron in the next few weeks.

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Spartan Spectacular

@CaitoGalenus has posted a rundown of November’s releasees from Spartan Games. Check it out:  Spartan Spectacular.

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Instruments of Destruction

Spartan Games have released previews of the upcoming Destroyer models for Firestorm Armada.

As an Aquan player, I am immediately intrigued by the new Stingray-class. It’s a bit of a departure from the prevailing design philosophy the Aquan fleet has had up to now, but not nearly as big a one as the Medusa Dreadnought which I blogged about last week. I will want to see the ship from a few more angles before I am sure about it, but at the moment I am leaning towards investing in a few as an when they become available. We will also have to wait and see if there is going to be a big shift in Aquan design from now on.

I am also quite taken with the Terran Artemis-class. I like the sleek lines and it reminds me of the images given of the Nebula-class Star Destroyer from the Star Wars expanded universe, which is one of my favourites from that setting.

Dindrenzi ships have always had a rifle-like appearance and the Trident-class Destroyer haves that to it’s extreme with it’s bow resembling nothing so much as a giant weapon barrel. It’s a nice effect, makes the ship look very businesslike and brutal.

The Sorylian Kestros also is clearly a no-nonsense, heavily beweaponed design with what appears to be a very large array of forward torpedo tubes ringing the hull.

The Relthoza Venom and Directorate Nemesis are also very cool models which I think any player would be happy to add to their fleet. These two are perhaps a bit more conservative than the other ships but still very cool.

I’m a huge fan of shiny spaceships and so I’m always happy to see some new Firestorm Armada previews. Especially when the ships in question are as nice as these. The numerous releases for Dystopian Wars in the last few months have left Firestorm Armada fleets looking a bit sparse for options. These Destroyers and the Dreadnoughts previewed last month. are promising signs that we can hope to have all options for the existing fleets catered for before too long.


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Don’t look at it!

Last week Spartan games released the long awaited renders of the forthcoming Aquan Medusa-class Dreadnought for Firestorm Armada.

Medusa-class Dreadnought

Personally, and I can only speak personally here, I don’t like it very much. To be fair, given how long Spartan kept us waiting for this particular preview, it was going to be difficult for any ship to live up to the anticipation, but the Medusa still came as quite a shock.

Granted, all the six FA dreadnoughts that Spartan have pushed the envelope in terms of the visual style of their respective fleets, but the other five were all clearly, visibly tied to an overall design philosophy. The Medusa in contrast, really couldn’t be more different from the existing Aquan range.

Medusa as seen from the bow

Yes, there are commonalities in terms of the details, such as the lozenge-shaped weapons copulas, the crystal like engine nozzles, and the elongated oval hatches in the bow. But the design itself is completely alien and seems to have more in common with Ba’Kash design that have been previewed in the past than other Aquan designs such as the Manta carrier.

Manta-class Battle Carrier

I have previously posted that I would definitely be adding an Aquan Dreadnought to my fleet but I don’t think I will now. The clash in styles is just too great and I think I will be fine with the splendid Manta Battle Carrier as the flagship of my fleet. If I need extra firepower, hopefully there will be some nice gunship models before too long.

I think my least favourite aspect it the ‘tentacles’ trailing stern-wards from the main hull. The Aquans ships may have had an ‘organic’ look to them, but they have never previously looked like they were specifically trying to ape a living creature. I’m also not keen on the bow. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to evoke the maw of some aquatic predator but it leaves me cold.

It’s not a hideous model as such, the render it self is nicely executed and there is clearly a lot of detail in the sculpt, but it jars so much with the existing style of the Aquan fleet that it just doesn’t work for me and I would find it hard to imagine how much a huge departure from established design philosophy would be justified in-universe. The other Dreadnoughts previewed by Spartan are much more in keeping with the existing ‘look’ of the fleets they are joining.

Relthoza Dreadnought and Battleship

Sorylian Dreadnought, Battleship and Cruiser

Terran Dreadnought and Battleship

I think this is definitely a ‘Marmite’ model that people will either love or hate. And I can’t help but find it ironic that such an aesthetically challenging model has been named after a mythical beast that people warned never to look at.

Avert your gaze!

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Launch all Interceptors!

Yesterday, I blogged about my recent endeavours with Dystopian Wars by Spartan Games. Today I’ll be talking about my parallel adventures with another of Spartan’s games, Firestorm Armada.

Firestorm Armada is the game that made we want to try Spartan Game’s products. This was quite a big deal considering I had never before considered doing any game that wasn’t produced by Games Workshop.

I’m a huge sci-fi fan (as you may have inferred). I like spaceships of all descriptions and the opportunity to paint up some cool spaceship models was too good to miss. Of course there are other spaceship games, most obviously GW’s Battlefleet Gothic but FA has the advantage of being very strongly supported by Spartan in contrast to BFG having long been exiled to the wilderness of the ‘Specialist Games’ range.

I ummed and ahhed about what fleet to collect. For a long time I was thinking of collecting the Sorylians. I liked their chunky but sleek, linear designs and their sense of being heavily armed. Once I started to get an idea of the different capabilities of the various fleets, I was turned off by the last of forwrad guns on the Sorylian ships. This is purely a personal preference, but I didn’t fancy being so dependent on broadside weapons.

This lead me to the Aquans. I liked the ships having weaponry all round and thought that being able to manoeuvre to make use of several relatively weaker weapons batteries would be an interesting challenge. The Aquan ships also had a very distinctive look which reminded me of the iconic Mon Calamari star cruisers from the Star Wars trilogy.

I now have nearly 1000 points of Aquan ships and I’m eagerly awaiting the preview of the Aquan dreadnought which should go up on the Spartan Games website any day now.

When I came to painting them, I decided I wanted to incorporate several colours into the scheme to prevent the finished product being too dull. The Aquan designs don’t have much technical ‘kibble’ to break up the hull colour the way a lot of other fleets do. In the end I settled on a primary hull colour of Codex Grey, with portions of the hull picked out in Shadow Grey and Ice Blue.

Poseidon-class Battleship


Manta-class Battle Carrier


Storm-class Cruisers


I’m not sure what I will add to the fleet. It will depend what Spartan release, though I have been thinking of adding some Terran allies and maybe some Terquai when they become available. I quite like the idea of adding a Terran Razorthorn-class battleship painted red as a tribute to the Errant Venture from the Star Wars: X-wing novels.

Hope you like the pictures. And remember, concentrate all firepower on the Super Star Destroyer.

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